Archive for BAM!

Sliders: Blood & Splendor, 18 Years Gone

By | July 24, 2014 | 2 Comments
It's real. And it's SPECTACULAR.

It’s real. And it’s SPECTACULAR.

SO, where were you in 1996? I was living in Jersey City, and a few years away from publishing my first novel. My friend and former room-mate Jeof Vita was also in Jersey City, working at Acclaim Comics. It was a primitive time, offering dial-up Internet connections and no such thing as Netflix or HBO GO, and you had to take the science fiction TV series that you got. What we got was Sliders, a show about alternate earth’s and the madcap group of misfits who got trapped into ‘sliding’ between them and having adventures as they struggled to find Earth Prime.

Acclaim Comics had the comic license for the series and was publishing “lost episode” comics, which were supposedly scripts from the show that were too ambitious or expensive to produce. They came up one short, so Jeof suggested we gin up a concept and sell it. And we did! So we wrote the script for what became Sliders: Blood & Splendor which published in January 1997. I got $1600 for it. I spent it all almost immediately on liquor and colourful outfits.

The other day I was thinking about this experience and I imagined an alternate world where Jeof and I became famous because of this comic book. An alternate world where I didn’t have to spend the next decades dancing in clubs for sweaty dollar bills, where Jeof didn’t have to scratch out a living as a rodeo clown. A world that saw our genius and celebrated Blood & Splendor as the work of genius it … well, wasn’t, but could have been if Jeof and I had spent more than a few hours writing it in-between playing video games and ordering take out.

So, I did what anyone would have: I made a documentary about an alternate earth where Sliders: Blood and Splendor was a sort of pop cultural event on par with Thriller. And I got a bunch of people to help me with it, including Jeof Vita himself. And it is hilarious. And you should watch it immediately.

Categories: BAM!, Videos

FIXER

By | July 7, 2014 | 3 Comments
Fixer by Jeff Somers

BUY ME.

The prequel novella to We Are Not Good People, Fixer, is officially out today! You can download it onto your kindle at the cost of zero dollars. And here’s why you should:

  • I can momentarily pretend I am hugely successful when Fixer is ranked #1 despite earning me zero dollars.
  • If you don’t, this blog will quickly descend into weepy paeans to the Good Old Days when people loved me.
  • You will really enjoy it, and it will inspire you to purchase We Are Not Good People when it comes out in October. Or possibly to found a new religion based on my teachings. Either way, all good.
  • It’s free. Exactly how cheap do you have to be to not download a free book? Followup question: Are you not cheap at all and simply like seeing me cry? Because I’ll happily send you fetish videos of me weeping, if you want.
  • It’s just 10,000 words, so you can read it on the bus into work and be approximately 1% smarter upon your arrival. That 1% might be the difference between life and death, depending on the nature of your job.

If all that doesn’t convince you, here are the first few paragraphs to read. That’s right, this is a free preview of a free novella. The gods have gone crazy.

FIXER

It should have worked. It did work, right up until it didn’t.

You got your trained bear on a leash, Vonnegan?”

I looked up and stared at Heller, his shaved head flaking into drifts of off-white skin that settled on the shoulders of his black fur coat. The big oversized sunglasses were studded with rhinestones, some of which had fallen off. He looked like he probably smelled, but I wasn’t going to test the theory. He didn’t appear to be wearing a shirt under the coat, though I was fucking relieved to see pants emerging from under its hem. Two kids, Asian and skinny and smoking cigarettes, stood on either side of him. Heller didn’t go for muscle. Heller went for speed.

Next to me, I heard Mags literally growling. I reached up and put a hand on his shoulder. I was slowly starting to realize that Mags had somehow bonded to me in unholy matrimony, and I was beginning to make long-term life plans that involved him.

I took a deep breath. “Listen—”

Heller held up a hand. “Save the bullshit, Vonnegan. You owe me thirty thousand fucking dollars, and you told me you’d have it tonight.”

I leaned back in my chair and let my hand slip off of Mags’s shoulder. I decided that if the big guy went nuts and killed Heller by accident, I would allow it. Around us, Rue’s Morgue flowed and buzzed, populated by a big group of slummers from uptown who’d somehow found the bar. The extra humidity and noise was straining the environment beyond its capabilities, and everything had become smoky and dense, the air getting thicker as more drinks were poured.

I’d never had much energy for bullshit. When I started a lie, it got heavier and heavier until I couldn’t hold it up anymore. So I just went for brutal honesty.

I don’t have it,” I said, spreading my hands. “I had a line on something, but it . . . didn’t work out.”

I pictured the ustari who brought me to this state, her and her lone Bleeder. She was a bottom dweller, going after her own kind. And that meant I wasn’t even a bottom dweller. I was fucking underground.

Heller smiled. His teeth were little green pebbles in his mouth, and I didn’t like looking at them, but I forced myself to smile back. We were equals, I told myself. I’d had ten years of apprenticeship that had gotten me nowhere, and a lot of the . . . people, the magicians, who hung out in Rue’s were way ahead of me, but I was learning fast. Heller acted like he was some sort of fucking Lord of the Shitheads, and I told myself that was an illegitimate position: No one had elected him.

I don’t give a fuck what worked out or didn’t work out: You owe me fucking money and you don’t have it.” He nodded, once, as if coming to a sudden decision. “Go touch your fucking gasam for it, right? Enough screwin’ around.”

Thinking of Hiram and his hot, musty apartment and his tendency to believe that verbal abuse was a fine motivator, I shook my head. Gasam had been one of the first Words I’d learned: teacher, Master. The implied bondage in the word hadn’t sat well with me. That should have been a sign it was all going to hell sooner rather than later.

I shot my cuffs and thought. Anything to not have to crawl back to that fat little thief and beg him for help. Anything. In service to the grift I’d even tried to improve my look by investing in a fifteen-dollar suit from St. Mary’s thrift store; it fit like it had been made for show and possibly out of cardboard. But thirty thousand dollars, I’d recently discovered, was a lot more money than I’d thought. It was turning into an impossible amount of money.

Keeping my smile in place, I shook my head and pursed my lips. “Isn’t come to that yet, Heller,” I said. “Give me a couple more days.”

Heller’s smile widened and he gestured, vaguely, in the air, with one hand. Rings glinted on its wiry fingers. I had a second of anxiety, then the weird sense of blood in the air. Then I was being pushed down into my chair by an invisible force, so hard I couldn’t breathe.

I could Charm ya out of it,” Heller said, stepping over to take hold of an empty chair and dropping it next to me. I could move my eyes but nothing else. Someone behind me, casting spells.

My heart was pounding. Next to me, I could hear Mags, caught the same as me, straining against the spell, trying to launch himself from the chair. I hated Heller, suddenly. He’d seemed vaguely ridiculous before, running his games, dressing like a porn producer from the 1970s. But now I owed him thirty thousand dollars, and I hated him. And I’d come so close to getting out from under him, too.

It should have worked. It did work. Until it didn’t.

 

The Inner Swine Summer 2014

By | June 4, 2014 | 6 Comments

TIS 20-12As I sit here madly rapping Fancy by Iggy Azalea, I am very conscious of no longer being the hip young demographic that advertises love. Yet I still have things to say! Or, write. Many of these ideas are ill-advised and poorly formed, and so I keep them in a ghetto of my own choosing: My zine, The Inner Swine, established in 1993 and still going. For some reason.

As it is Summer time, it’s time for the Summer issue! And it has been released to Barnes and Noble and Amazon for your e-reading pleasure:

Nook

Kindle

Go and buy it. It’s just a DOLLAR for god’s sake, what are you, fancy?

(see what I did there? GENIUS.)

Categories: BAM!, The Inner Swine

Presenting @ The 2014 Writer’s Digest Conference

By | May 7, 2014 | 2 Comments

WDC_2014So, this has happened:

I’ve been invited to be a presenter at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference (www.writersdigestconference.com). I was told that, remarkably, if I didn’t live in the NYC area they would have paid for my travel and hotel but since I do they will pay for nothing. Which kind of encapsulates my publishing career to date, actually.

I will be making the following presentation:

Title: Take Off Your Pants and Write! The Benefits and Pitfalls of Pantsing vs. Plotting a Novel

Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014, 2:40PM — 3:30PM

More Info: http://www.writersdigestconference.com/ehome/83905/schedule/?&&

Naturally, you have questions. I have answers:

1. Why in god’s name does anyone think you should be impressing impressionable young writers?

Because I’ve published eight novels with number nine on the way and over thirty short stories. Also: I’m a damn fine good looking man and the world benefits when I appear in public.

2. What kind of wisdom will you be imparting?

As the title hints, it will all be pants-related. Also, a little bit about plotting your novels. But mainly pants stuff.

3. Will you bring a bottle of Scotch and pour everyone in the room a drink as you famously did at your Bouchercon presentation in 2010?

No, I learned my lesson from that debacle. A drunk audience is not better than a sober one. They are worse. So much worse.

SO! There you have it. I will be imparting my noveling wisdom to those in need. Or at least those who have not yet found better, smarter, younger mentors.

MWA @ KGB

By | March 19, 2014 | 0 Comments
BUY ME

BUY ME

So, last night I read at the KGB Bar in NYC as part of the MWA Reading Series. Organized and hosted by the great Richie Narvaez, this was a blast. All readings should be held in bars because this allows me to get drunk in a socially acceptable way as opposed to my typical socially unacceptable ways. It’s better for all involved, believe me.

Here are some awful, terrible photos of the event I took. I mean, awful. I obviously have no idea how to use modern technology and may be some sort of time traveler from the 19th Century pretending to be a modern man in service of some evil witchcraft, based on the these photos. I mean, have I ever even seen a camera before? Doubtful.

Here’s the Rogue’s Gallery:

Scott Adlerberg kicked us off with a work in progress, which takes balls – but he rocked it.

Scott Adlerberg

My wife was super excited to see Kimberly McCreight read:

Kimberly McCreight

Next up, Anthony Rainone:

Anthony Rainone

There was a short break during which I attempted to drink five shots of whiskey and wound up, as usual, pantsless in the bathroom. The Duchess and my Fearless Agent had to pull me together, dumps a bucket of cold water on me, and walk me back to the bar in time to see the great Alex Segura read:

Alex Segura

Then it was my turn. I read a chapter from CHUM. I took a photo of the crowd at KGB so I would remember where I was last night:

crowd

And, last but certainly not least, Albert Tucher read from one of his Diana Andrews stories:

Albert Tucher

A good time. Thanks to everyone who came out!

The! Inner! Swine!

By | December 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

1934_coverIt’s that time again, kids: The Winter 2013 Issue of The Inner Swine is out! Here’s the TOC from the issue, which has a vague theme of faith:

EDITORIAL: It’s All Downhill From Here, Isn’t It?
AMERICAN HORROR STORY:  America’s Got No Fucking Idea
FROM THE BLOG:  Where Gone Home Went Wrong
FROM THE BLOG: Writing as a Reader
FROM THE BLOG: Essays about Breaking Bad
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: America’s Next Idiot Model
COMMENTARY: THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY
COMMENTARY: How to Survive the Crushing Inevitability of Your Own Death
FROM THE BLOG:  Sinister Horror Clichés
FICTION: Up the Crazy
FROM THE BLOG:  The Freaks are Winning Part 65,678

HUZZAH! Available ONLY on Nook and Kindle, sadly, but well worth the 99 cents, bubba, if I do say so myself.

Categories: BAM!, The Inner Swine

Booklist Loves CHUM

By | October 3, 2013 | 3 Comments
BUY ME

BUY ME

Booklist thinks every American should be reading my newest novel CHUM:

““Mary and Bickerman have always been at the center of their social circle, a rowdy group happy to share postcollegiate, booze-fueled shenanigans. Holidays are punctuated by raucous parties, drunken confessions, tears, fights, and uneasy sleep. Through the fog of alcohol and shared memories, loyalties are tested, allegiances are broken, new friendships are cemented, and a grisly secret is shared. While Mary and Bickerman’s marriage is nothing to emulate, the novel’s deeply flawed characters are surprisingly relatable. From the frequently misunderstood Tom to the preternaturally gorgeous Miriam, readers will see pieces of themselves, significant others, close friends, or fellow drinking buddies in the diverse crew. Highlighting the tension often found in even close-knit groups, Somers uses different members of the social circle to narrate shared events and private monologues. As the reader gains perspective on the nonlinear story, shocking secrets soon come to light. Combining elements of Jonathan Tropper, Tom Perrotta, and Augusten Burroughs, Somers’ incisive, pull-no-punches examination of adult friendship is refreshingly witty. Tautly paced and expertly assembled, Chum is a darkly comic, deeply insightful, and wildly original novel.

Huzzahs to me.

Categories: BAM!, CHUM

NYC Comic Con, Here I Come

By | October 1, 2013 | 0 Comments

nyccSO, I will be attending Comic Con in NYC this October – your prayers have been answered, whether those prayers have to do with seeing me in person at a huge event or knowing precisely where I will be one day this month in order to rob my house while I am absent. And several scenarios in-between, ranging from assassination to leaving $9.2 million in drug money in my living room so I can establish an irrevocable trust in your son’s name.

DATE & TIME: Most of this is to TBD, but I’ll be there on Thursday October 10.

WHY IN GOD’S NAME: I’ll be signing and giving away free copies of Part 1 of my upcoming novel We Are Not Good People, otherwise known as Trickster. If you read Trickster this year and thought you’d read the whole book, you would be wrong. It’s just part 1.

Oh, I’ll also do other things: Sign anything, be giving away whatever I have in my pockets, dancing for nickles, and generally abusing myself.

If you’re going to be at NYCC yourself on the 10th, let me know and let’s try to meet up, chat, have coffee, whatever. If you’re there on another day, let me know anyway and maybe we can meet outside the con (my badge is just for the 10th). Email me at jdxs@jeffreysomers.com if you want to try to get together.

ONWARD!

Categories: BAM!, More Shit I Gotta Do

The Little Contest

By | September 18, 2013 | 0 Comments
BUY ME

BUY ME

So, as almost none of you were apparently aware, I was holding a contest for signed copies of my new novel Chum, and exactly seven folks entered. Perhaps the entry was a bit too convoluted – I admit it.

Live and learn. Or live and drink. Either way, I win.

Still, the entries I did get were wayyyyy cool. I asked people to surf on over to the official Chum Website and leave a guestbook message for the fictional couple that star in the book, Dave and Mary. I planned to award a signed copy of the book to the ten most creative entries. We only got seven total. Apparently I am not as famous and hip as I thought I am.

But the entries I did get were pretty awesome. Here they are, with commentary:

(more…)

Categories: BAM!, CHUM

Free eBooks

By | August 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

SO, in my ongoing attempts to draw your attention to my novel Chum, out from Tyrus books on 9/18, I’ve put together two free eBooks over one Smashwords that are either directly or tangentially connected to Chum:

Up the Crazy by Jeff Somers - a Lifers/Chum crossover.

Up the Crazy by Jeff Somers – a Lifers/Chum crossover.

Up the Crazy is a crossover short story. Crossover of what? Well, Chum and my first published novel Lifers share a universe and, briefly, some characters. They also share some scenes and characters from other novels I wrote, but since those remain unpublished they remain Novels Whose Titles Shall Not be Mentioned As They Are Meaningless to Everyone Not Named Jeff Somers.

So, anyways, I thought it would be fun to explore one point where the stories of Chum and Lifers intersect a bit a more fully, and wrote a “deleted chapter” from Lifers. It’s not necessary to have read either book to enjoy the story. Here’s a few lines from it:

“Trim, naturally, had a complete speech about Florence, the kind of speech Trim gave from time to time that convinced you he had dossiers on all of us with pre-canned speeches prepared for all occasions. The speeches were also curiously filled with strange stresses and obscure words and this also led me to believe they were basically toneless, rhythmless, rhymeless poems, the kind that Trim specialized in.

Florence, Trim told me, was too much woman for most men. She was tall. She was busty. She was, he insisted, a giantess – everything in proportion, but simply too much of it. It was overwhelming for most men, he said. Add to that red hair and a fuck yeah Florence! kind of attitude which gave her incredible confidence despite being a girl Trim was certain had been mercilessly mocked in her school days for being three or four times normal size, and you had a girl who intimidated all the men in her life and was therefore inexplicably single.”

American Wedding Confidential by Jeff Somers

American Wedding Confidential by Jeff Somers

American Wedding Confidential is a collection of essays from my zine The Inner Swine about the weddings I attended. I’ve been to a lot of weddings, at first as a sort of gigolo emergency wedding date for my single girl friends, and later as escort to The Duchess as everyone we knew in the universe got married one after the other. Weddings are, generally speaking, the most horrible way you can spend an evening, so I started writing darkly humorous essays about my experiences. Fifteen of them are collected here.

Why? Well, a lot of the action in Chum takes place at a disastrous wedding, so there’s your tangential connection. That’s about it, really, although you can well imagine that much of my inspiration for the wedding scenes in Chum came directly from my terrible experiences at the weddings described in American Wedding Confidential.

Here’s a sample:

 “I may have forgotten to explore an equally important facet of the swinging gigolos wedding experience: the dark side.

Oh, it’s there. I didn’t think so myself until a few years ago. Behind the free booze, between the drunkenly wanton bridesmaids, hidden by the blinding light of the camera capturing the Loco-Motion forever, eternally, winks the grinning leer of The Darkness, waiting for some sucker in a bad suit like me to innocently wander in. I started my long, slow walk into the darkness when Insane Co-worker #23 invited me to her friend’s wedding one day, about five minutes after she’d told me she liked me a whole lot and I’d blithely given her the memorized and oft-used (believe it or not) “we’re better off being friends but I will always be there for you” speech. Usually when I give that speech I mean it, and I meant it at that moment; even though I am running the other way as fast as I can whenever someone wants to date me, I usually do want to be just friends.

I hadn’t yet realized that Insane Co-worker #23 was, well, insane.”

Chum by Jeff Somers

Chum by Jeff Somers

Huzzah! Both are absolutely free and available in whatever format you prefer — go for it! Both are also rather poorly formatted and rife with errors, but then you wouldn’t expect anything less from me, would you? Now, go buy Chum before I burst into tears.

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